Today, I got to tell a new girl at my school the oldest and most famous joke in the English language: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” And then I had to explain it. It turns out that it’s not funny in Chinese, either.
I’ve got my exams 90% corrected. One kid did really badly on the matching section, but otherwise the scores are pretty good. The short answers are pretty universally terrible, and I’m not sure how to go about correcting them in the long run or short run. The idea was, take a pretty generic, open-ended question, like “What technologies and strategies help an empire maintain itself through warfare and other crises?” and answer it using information from what we’ve studied this term.
This proved to be substantially harder than I’d planned for most of them. Ideally I was hoping for 3-4 sentences on each of 5 short answer questions, out of ten to choose from. That seemed like plenty. Given what we studied this term, they could have used any of the following examples:
And so on. I have to spend some more time figuring out how to help kids answer these kinds of questions successfully and quickly. As always these days, part of it is needing to spend some time thinking about what the mission is.